Search

CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Industry

News and features about the latest developments in optics with a focus on industry

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

Jobs

Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Octopus vision test could help pinpoint patients at risk of AMD

UK scientists have developed technology that could screen patients for low macular pigment levels

octopus
Pixabay/edmondlafoto
UK scientists are developing technology that could be used by optometrists to screen for patients with low macular pigment levels.

A new study, which was published in Journal of Experimental Biology, describes using technology to test how well a colour blind octopus can detect polarised light.

The research team found that octopuses have the most sensitive polarisation vision system of any animal tested to date.

Subsequent research led to a method of testing macular pigment levels – which can be linked to an individual’s risk of developing age-related macular degeneration later in life.

Professor Shelby Temple, who holds an honorary position at the University of Bristol and the University of Aston, highlighted that humans can perceive polarisation because of macular pigments in the eyes.

“By inventing a method to measure polarisation vision in octopuses, we were able to use the core technology to develop a novel ophthalmic device that can quickly and easily screen people for low macular pigments, a strong risk factor for increased susceptibility to macular degeneration,” he said.

Temple is developing the technology through his start-up company Azul Optics.

"We are all living longer and expecting to do more in our older age, so I hope this serendipitous invention will help empower people to do more to look after our eyes, so they don't suffer from this devastating disease,” he said.